Sunday, 30 July 2017

Lancaster to Blackpool

Another ride along the Fylde Coast, firstly from the River Lune at Lancaster, crossing the River Wyre by pedestrian ferry from Knott End-on-Sea to Fleetwood, and then to the South Pier at Blackpool via the 11 mile traffic free Promenade.

 An early start at Derby Station as the 06.40 Crewe train arrives.
My trusty Dahon folder awaits with eager anticipation.

 But not many passengers on the train.

So it's downhill from Lancaster Train Station to the Millenium Bridge as on the recent ride to Morecambe, but instead of crossing the river, we stay on the South bank of the river and follow the path to Glasson Dock.

 Arrival at the Millenium Bridge three hours later to find the forecast heavy rain.

 Glasson is our first destination, 5 miles away on NCN  700.

 Looks like a wet ride, and it was.
Good path though - to start with at least.

Path flooded through Millenium Park.
The mouth of the River Lune.

First sight of Glasson Dock.
Not a good day for the Summer Roadshow by the Canal and River Trust.

Tidal waters on the Wyre Peninsular.

Onto the road here for the rest of the journey to Knott End.
The road to the village of Pilling, where ...................

Alongside the road this beautifully restored saddle tank steam engine.

And a miniature replica.

This is Knott End, ahead the mouth of the River Wyre and the ferry.
The slipway, and across the river lies Fleetwood.
Click HERE to see a video of the ferry in much nicer weather.

Arrival at Fleetwood.

The ferry carries a maximum of 35 passengers.

At least Fleetwood has a Wetherspoon's pub. Good stop for lunch.

Outlook seawards. This is The Mount which stands on the highest point of the seafront.
Over there lies the seashore and the traffic free path to Blackpool, which is 11 miles away.

And here it is.

The Rossall Observation Tower is a Coastguard lookout tower. On a clear day you can see Barrow-in-Furness across Morecambe Bay. On a clear day!
It is 42 feet high, open to the public, and designed to look as though it is leaning into the onshore wind. Most appropriate in my experience.

Modern houses overlook the golf course. In this area there are major engineering works to improve the sea defences, so there is closure of the Promenade and inconvenient diversions onto a bridleway.

We approach Thornton Cleveleys ................

... where the front has had a makeover.

Looking back.

........ and forwards (Southwards).

And then it's pretty much like this all the way to Blackpool.


And then we get a first sight of Blackpool Tower.

The North Pier ...................

............. and the trams. Some of the vintage trams still running.

Alongside the modern ones.

Acres of room for cyclists and pedestrians here.

The Central Pier.

Another Wetherpoon's "The Albert and the Lion" in the old Woolworths building.

The Golden Mile.

Three storey Wetherspoons opposite the South Pier ...........

......... and close by the Pleasure Beach.

The traditional pony and trap rides along the front are now in these "Cinderella" vehicles. Not advisable to use after midnight as may turn into a pumpkin.

And so ended an eventful day with extremes of weather.  Heavy rain from Lancaster to Fleetwood, but after lunch the sun came out for the ride to Blackpool, but there was a strong headwind, so I was glad to reach the Velvet Coaster for more refreshment and a rest before catching the train home.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

City Centre Ride Nottingham

For some years past a series of City Centre Rides has been organised by Sky, held in various cities across the UK, being very successful in bringing many thousands of local cyclists and visitors out on their bikes to cycle on the normally busy streets which are closed to motor traffic for the day.
The year 2016 was the last year of the Sky Rides and the mantle has been taken over very successfully by HSBC who have run three rides so far, one in Birmingham, one in Nottingham and one in Sheffield,
Here are some pictures of the Nottingham Ride.

 The 6km ride route was centred on Trent Bridge, passing beneath it on both sides of the river and across the span as well.

                                            Below ....................

 .                                   .........and above

 The large hub, with administration, food, drinks, ice cream and bike maintenance by Halfords bike mechanics was all situated in the Hub on the Victoria Embankment.

 Champion cyclist Laura Kenney was in attendance, answering questions and signing autographs - hence the large crowd.

Young Archie came along with his Mum and Dad, Momma Bear and Daddy Pig.

And somebody else ..........

Together with the attraction of riding along the riverside, the route took riders into and around, the Notts Forest football ground.

                                   Through the Bubble Tunnel

                                A super event for families.

Return beneath the stadium.

                                    Alongside the Trent.

Laura Kenney came along to honour us with her presence and to answer a few questions from the audience.